Panko-Style Crusted Tofu and Vegetables Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Panko-Style Crusted Tofu and Vegetables

The best test to see if a crunchy coating will stick to foods? Try it on a variety of vegetables and some tofu cubes. Feel 
free to swap in your favorite vegetables for the ones listed here.


Ingredient Set Name: 



Ingredient Line: 
3 cups puffed rice cereal, such as Quaker Essentials or Arrowhead Mills
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1 Tbs. vegetable oil
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1½ tsp. salt, divided
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1½ cups white rice flour
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1½ cups plain seltzer water

Ingredient Set Name: 

Tofu and Vegetables


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1 16-oz. block extra-firm tofu, cubed
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2 zucchini, halved and sliced on bias
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6 large button mushrooms, halved
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6 asparagus spears, trimmed
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2 small red onions, cut into 8 wedges
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1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
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7 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided


1. To make Coating: Place puffed rice in resealable plastic bag. Seal, and roll with rolling pin until broken up. Transfer to bowl, stir in oil and 3/4 tsp. salt. Set aside.

2. Stir together rice flour and remaining 3/4 tsp. salt in large bowl. Whisk in seltzer water, adding 1 to 2 Tbs. more seltzer water (if necessary), until consistency is smooth and thick like Elmer’s glue.

3. To make Tofu and Vegetables: Line baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside.

4. Coat tofu cubes and vegetables in batter, then press into puffed rice mixture to coat. Set on second baking sheet.

5. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, and cook 6 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally, or until browned. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Add 1 Tbs. oil to pan, and cook zucchini 6 to 7 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining oil and vegetables. Sprinkle with salt, if desired, and serve hot.

Nutrition Information: 

10 g
Total Fat: 
18 g
Saturated Fat: 
2 g
36 g
0 mg
446 mg
3 g
3 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe


I took 7 minutes to brown the coating but the vegetables were not cooked. It actually took me over 2 hrs to cook this food! I cooked each vegetable separately. If I were to ever try this again, I would use cooked vegetables, batter & fry them. Also, the coating did not stick to the onions or the zucchini. What a big mess this was.

I agree with Linda, it took me over two hours to cook. The coating would not stick and when it did it fell off in the pan leaving me with big clumps of gummy mess with vegetables. Not enjoyable.

How important is it to use seltzer water instead of just tap water?

I used panko instead of the crushed rice puffs because I'm not gluten free and had it on hand. Also soda water, which google tells me is the same thing as seltzer (I guess seltzer is the American word for it?). Anyways that worked fine. I didn't have any trouble with getting the coating to stick to the tofu, zucchini or mushrooms but it wouldn't stay on the peppers or onions. The asparagus came out alright but not as good as the others. This took me an hour to make because I had to do 4 rounds of frying to get through everything, so by the time I was done the tofu was cold. And boy what a mess after! But that is the price of using batter and crumbs, so I suppose I can't complain. It turned out pretty well, it tasted good and had a satisfying crunch on the parts that the coating stuck to. It made WAY more than I needed since I live alone (I even used just one zucchini, and still I have a mountain of it in my freezer). Storing it makes the crust very soggy but reheating it in a pan with a bit of oil fixes it right up (however more coating will fall off, further reducing crustiness). My only real complaint is the calorie count. 341 for half a cup?! That's not even close to meal, more like a snack size. I have my doubts that the count is actually anywhere near that once you factor in all the coating that falls off, but to be safe, it won't be something I'll indulge in often. I will make this again because it was tasty, but I'll cut the amount way down, and only use the tofu, zukes and mushrooms since those came out the best.

Tried this tonight. It was time consuming but okay. I'd add spices next time.. If I made it again. I doubt I will.. The amount of work vs tastiness isn't worth it. Clean up wasn't much fun ( just bc it seemed to get a lot of things dirty not bc anything stuck to the pan). I'd give this 1.5 stars out of 5. In your in the mood for this kind of thing and don't mind some prep-- go for this recipe. It's a good one for what it is.

I LOVE this recipe! I bake at 450 rather than fry. It is so good. I also freeze a bunch of tofu and eggplant and pull them out, bake at 450 and have an easy lunch:)